Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5254 ..
Study trip-Report by Mr John Hargreaves, MLA-Visit to Manningham City Council, North-East Melbourne, 1 December 2003.
Bushfire Recovery Taskforce
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (3.24): For the information of members, I present the following paper:
The Report of the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce-Australian Capital Territory, October 2003.
I seek leave to move a motion to authorise the report for publication.
MR STANHOPE: I move:
That the paper be authorised for publication.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR STANHOPE: I move:
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
Mr Speaker, I am pleased today to table the report of the ACT Bushfire Recovery Taskforce. The impact of the January 2003 fires was immense in terms of personal and property loss. Tragically, four members of our community lost their lives in the fires and 488 homes were destroyed. In the rural sector, people lost homes and buildings as well as livestock. Many pets, horses and native animals also died. Tidbinbilla was devastated, as was the much-loved Cotter recreational area. The total financial cost of the fires has been estimated at $350 million; this does not include the immeasurable human cost. The whole of the ACT community was affected in some way or other.
The Bushfire Recovery Taskforce was established soon after the bushfires by the ACT government to guide and facilitate our recovery. The ACT community owes a debt of gratitude to all members of the taskforce: to Sandy Hollway, who made an extraordinary contribution as chairman; to Robert de Castella, who represented those who lost their homes to the fires; to Maureen Cane, who represented the community sector; to Terry Snow, who represented the business sector; and to Robert Tonkin and Alan Thompson who provided valuable advice and guidance on behalf of the ACT government. All of these people brought their expertise, energy and huge personal commitment to this task over many months, and I would like to record my personal thanks to each of them. Mr Speaker, under the taskforce's leadership, the ACT's recovery from the fires has been exceptional. Although there remains much to be done, a great deal has been achieved.
The community response to the tragedy was swift and generous-locally, nationally and internationally. Volunteers came forward, donations flowed in, and enormous support